B'klyn Priest Held in L.I. Kid-Sex Case

By Lisa Pulitzer and Douglas Montero
New York Post
March 6, 2004

A Brooklyn priest and former Air Force chaplain pleaded not guilty yesterday to sodomizing a Long Island boy and is being held in the Suffolk County Jail on $500,000 bond, authorities said.

Rev. Barry Ryan, 56, had previously confessed to sexually assaulting the boy, who is under the age of 11, between May and October 2003 in a signed written statement, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.

Even so, the priest pleaded not guilty to a first-degree sodomy charge in Suffolk District Court in Central Islip.

The boy's father reported the alleged attacks to the Brooklyn Diocese in November. The diocese called the Suffolk DA.

"We immediately called the family and offered them counseling, which they have accepted," said Frank DeRosa, a diocese spokesman.

Ryan told investigators that, until his arrest, he was a patient at the St. Luke's Institute, a psychiatric hospital in Maryland for priests, where he was treated for pedophilia, depression and alcoholism, Spota said.

Ryan served at St. Mark's Church in Sheepshead Bay until 1984, when he enlisted as a chaplain in the Air Force.

He subsequently asked for a leave of absence in 1995 after sexual-abuse charges were filed against him, according to published reports and DeRosa.


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